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Redskins Practice report, Day 19: Williams and Amerson return

Redskins Practice report, Day 19: Williams and Amerson return

RICHMOND—The Redskins got together for their final day of practice in front of the fans here (there will be a closed practice tomorrow). Here are my observations.

—OT Trent Williams was back to a full workload. So was CB David Amerson, who participated in individual drills on Saturday. Still out for the Redskins were TE Jordan Reed (hamstring), WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder), and WR Jamison Crowder (hamstring).

—TE Ernst Brun, who tried out after the morning walkthrough and signed before the afternoon practice, was out on the field for individual drills. He made a nifty one-handed catch during one of the sessions.

—There was a bit of comedy during the first part of full team work. Someone on the offensive line jumped early and the play was not run. As the offense went back to the huddle, S Duke Ihenacho picked up the ball and marched off the five-yard penalty. That put the ball right in the middle of the offensive huddle.

—The defensive coaches are fanatics about players chasing after any loose ball that is on the ground. A pass was overthrown and DB coach Perry Fewell yelled “Ball, ball, ball!” as the football skittered along in the grass. The idea is that players shouldn’t be referees. No harm can come from scooping up a loose football and you never know when a call might go your way.

—RB Matt Jones has played with an attitude ever since he arrived in Ashburn. Maybe some of it is rubbing off on RB Alfred Morris. No question, Morris has been a tough, hard runner ever since he came to town in 2012. But he seems to be developing a bit more of an edge, some feistiness he didn’t have before.

Robert Griffin III has not thrown many interceptions this summer but he had two during one red zone seven-on-seven series. One of them wasn’t his fault. His pass to Trey Williams was on the mark but the ball bounced out of the running back’s hands and was picked off by S Dashon Goldson. The second one was deflected by CB Justin Rogers and picked off by, again, Goldson. Griffin finally got the offense into the end zone with a pass to Jones, who found a soft spot in the defense just over the goal line.

—Before yesterday I had never seen a practice start in pads and end without them but the Redskins took off their full shoulder pads about an hour and a half into practice, about the same time they on Saturday. It’s not a bad idea for a team that is somewhat banged up but I’ve covered plenty of limping Redskins teams and I’ve never seen a practice conducted like that.

—After the pads came off, Griffin dropped back to pass. He had to step up in the pocket and he may have been sacked before he threw to WR Pierre Garçon on a deep crossing pattern. The pass was wobbly but Garçon made a nice catch for a good gain. A couple of plays later ILB Keenan Robinson got a hand on a Griffin pass from out of the pocket but WR Rashad Ross adjusted and made the catch.

—Later on with the second team offense on the field, RB Chris Thompson took a handoff on a draw and popped up the middle for a touchdown on third and goal at the five. He is quietly putting a lock on the third-down back job. It was his to lose coming into camp and he has done nothing to lose it.

—On a third and one from about the 40, Griffin couldn’t handle the snap, recovered, rolled out, and overthrew WR Andre Roberts in the end zone. Jay Gruden seemed to be particularly disappointed by this play. He had his hands on his knees and stared at the ground for several seconds after it was over.

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2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

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2018 NFL Draft order has Redskins pick nearing top ten as losses stockpile

LOS ANGELES — Some years, the December talk is of playoff tiebreakers.

Other years, it’s about draft position.

This is one of those “other” years.

The Redskins’ current skid of four losses in their last five games has knocked them out of playoff contention but into more favorable position in the 2018 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to take place in late April.

The Redskins' record is 5-8 through Week 14,  and if the season ended today, Washington would be picking either 11th or 12th in the first round.

Here’s the big picture: As of Monday, there are eight teams that have fewer wins than Washington. All of them would be picking ahead of the Redskins. 

The Bengals and Jets also have eight losses so the one and only draft order tiebreaker would be applied.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

This does not work out well for the Redskins.

The NFL Draft tiebreaker is strength of schedule with the teams with the weaker schedules getting the better picks. I am sure you have heard about how tough a schedule the Redskins have all year long. It was a point of pride for many fans. But now it comes back to bite them.

The Jets (opponents winning percentage .488) and the Bengals (.444) have faced weaker schedules than the Redskins (.574). That pushes Washington back to 11th.

RELATED: FEW UPS, MANY DOWNS VS. CHARGERS

But there is a Week 14 game pending. The Dolphins, who have seven losses, play the Patriots on Monday Night Football. If they lose and join the eight-loss group, they would jump ahead of the Redskins based on the SOS tiebreaker, pushing Washington back to 12th.

Of course, the season doesn’t end today and a lot can happen.

But if the bottom doesn’t completely fall out it seems likely that they will end up somewhere between 10th and 12th in the first round.

We will be looking at what that might mean for the Redskins in the coming days and weeks as the offseason comes early for the Redskins one more time.

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NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

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USA Today Sports

NFL Playoff Picture: NFC bracket projection starting to come into focus

The NFC Playoff picture is no clearer in Week 14 than it was in Week 8.

Throughout the 2017-18 NFL season, the NFC in particular has been a gauntlet. So much of a gauntlet that one of the league’s best in the past five years, the Seattle Seahawks, sit outside of the postseason with an 8-5 record.

As of the conclusion of Week 14’s action, only the Philadelphia Eagles (11-2) have locked up a postseason spot.

The Eagles claimed the NFC East for the first time since 2013 with a win over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. The will clinch a first round bye with a win and losses by the Saints and the Panthers this weekend.

The Minnesota Vikings (10-3) with their loss remains second in the conference, still within striking range over the overall No. 1 seed.

With losses to the two teams ahead of them, the Rams (9-4) have a tough hill to climb to claim a first-round bye, but first they need to get back in the win column.

For the WildCard berths there was a wrench thrown into many teams plans with the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) defeating the New Orleans Saints (9-4) on Thursday night. Atlanta owns a tiebreaker over pretty much every team chasing them for the final playoff spot.

For the five remaining unclaimed spots in the postseason, 10 teams are still alive.

After Week 15 though, that number could dwindle down significantly.

RELATED: NEW 2018 NFL MOCK DRAFT 3.0

NFC Playoff Picture Week 15

NFC PLAYOFF BRACKET PROJECTION:
— #1 Philadelphia Eagles* (11-2) vs. BYE
— #2 Minnesota Vikings (10-3) vs. BYE
— #3 Los Angeles Rams (9-4) vs. #6 Atlanta Falcons (8-5)
— #4 New Orleans Saints (9-4) vs. #5 Carolina Panthers (9-4)

NFC TEAMS IN THE PLAYOFF HUNT:
— Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
— Detroit Lions (7-6)
— Green Bay Packers (7-6)
— Dallas Cowboys (7-6)
— Arizona Cardinals (6-7)

NFC TEAMS ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF PICTURE:
— Washington Redskins (5-8)
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)
— Chicago Bears (4-9)
— San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
— New York Giants (2-11)

SEEDING NOTES:
— Eagles own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Panthers.
— Vikings own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Rams, Saints, and Falcons.
— Saints own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Panthers.
— Rams own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Saints.
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Vikings.

WILD CARD NOTES:
— Panthers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions.
— Falcons own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions, Packers, Cowboys, and Seahawks.
— Lions own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
— Packers own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Seahawks, Cowboys.
— Cowboys own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinals.

Week 15 NFC Games With Playoff Implications:

Sat., Dec 16: Bears at Lions (4:30 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Bengals at Vikings (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Jets at Saints (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Eagles at Giants (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cardinals at Redskins (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Panthers at Packers (1:00 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Rams at Seahawks (4:05 p.m.)
Sun., Dec 17: Cowboys at Raiders (8:30 p.m.)
Mon., Dec 18: Falcons at Buccaneers (8:30 p.m.)